Reports of the fake monks spiked two years ago, then waned. But now they are back in force from Times Square to the High Line, the public park built on an old elevated rail line on Manhattan’s West Side.
The panhandling is not limited to New York City, however. Reports of the men have surfaced in San Francisco, Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, India and Nepal, officials said.
Those who have monitored the panhandling said it appeared the men were colluding as part of some larger network.